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Write to Publish Writers Workshop The Café
Sue Weems: Becoming Writer, Editor, Bbp Participant, Winter Writing Contest 2016, Story Cartel Course
Member since June 25, 2015

Sue Weems is a writer, teacher, and traveller with an advanced degree in (mostly fictional) revenge. When she’s not rationalizing her love for parentheses (and dramatic asides), she follows a sailor around the globe with their four children, two dogs, and an impossibly tall stack of books to read. You can read more of her writing tips on her website.

Website: http://www.suelarkinsweems.com

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Sue Weems
in Write to Publish
06:33 am on January 7, 2019

Wesite challenge complete! http://www.suelarkinsweems.com Also, had great conversations with two writers in our course and one outside last week. Grateful for so many helpful [more]

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See Sue's other Write Practice activity outside of the forums
How to Write a Speech Your Audience Remembers
by Sue Weems in How to Write a Speech Your Audience Remembers
01:27 pm on May 3, 2019

I’ve had some additional duties this year that have required me to add speech writing to my list of skills. I didn’t realize how much it would improve my writing in general. Even if you run in fear of public speaking (you’re in good company—95% of adults say it’s their number one fear), try these techniques and see if speech writing helps your writing too!

Writing Prompt: The Secrets We Bury
by Sue Weems in Writing Prompt: The Secrets We Bury
10:44 am on April 19, 2019

I recently finished a novel where a character hiding in a secret panel in an old house had lost consciousness and died. The only person who had an inkling of the hiding space was a child who grew up harboring the terrible secret. Secrets are a great way to add depth to a character, especially if the secret is on theme. Try this writing prompt and see what you uncover!

How to Create Problems for Your Characters That Force Them to Grow
by Sue Weems in How to Create Problems for Your Characters That Force Them to Grow
01:06 pm on February 22, 2019

Most of us try to avoid hard things. We have traffic apps to help us steer clear of wrecks and construction on the roadway. We espouse slogans like “work smarter, not harder.” We love hacks, apps, and tips to make most anything easier or more comfortable.

But what if the hard thing is the best way to become the people we want to be? What if we’re avoiding the very thing that holds the key to our growth?

Sometimes as writers, we let our characters settle for the easy life. What is the default state for your main character? Where is he most comfortable? You’ve got to get the character out of that state as quickly as possible.

How to Hone Your Writer’s Eye by Simply Paying Attention
by Sue Weems in How to Hone Your Writer’s Eye by Simply Paying Attention
10:48 am on February 8, 2019

What are you learning?

Sometimes it feels like I can’t learn things fast enough. I’ve been working to improve my ability to evoke emotion in my writing. It’s been harder than I think it should be, and I often lament that I don’t have enough time to learn all I need to learn to make my fiction work.

But as I wring my hands thinking I don’t have time, I’m missing a great opportunity right in front of me every day. Being present, paying attention, and thinking about the world I see are all excellent ways to learn. When I look at the world through a writer’s eye, I see writing lessons all around me.

How to Beat All-or-Nothing Thinking and Get More Writing Done
by Sue Weems in How to Beat All-or-Nothing Thinking and Get More Writing Done
11:02 am on January 11, 2019

It’s a new year! New goals! New motivation! 

But what happens when an ER visit derails me, a work project explodes and requires far more time than I planned, or I experience some other plan-busting interruption?

Too often, I have an all-or-nothing attitude toward change and progress. If I’ve eaten off the plan for one meal today, I’m far more likely to make unhealthy choices the rest of the day, week, and month. How can I short-circuit this negative thinking pattern and abandon all-or-nothing thinking to get more writing done this year?

How to Use Scars to Deepen Characterization
by Sue Weems in How to Use Scars to Deepen Characterization
08:30 am on December 14, 2018

Sometimes I have students who say they don’t like to write. I suggest that perhaps they haven’t found a subject or story worth writing yet. Then I ask them if they have any scars.

Inevitably, the stories pour out of them, and they point to their arms, their foreheads, and their legs revealing skateboarding mishaps, fights, and sometimes deeper trauma.

Scars often hold an entire world of story. We wanted something and the pursuit of it left a mark.

Giving a character a scar can be a cliché or it can be a fast-track to deeper character development. When you’re creating characters with scars, execution is key.

How to Actually Focus on Writing: The Dangers of Pseudo-Working
by Sue Weems in How to Actually Focus on Writing: The Dangers of Pseudo-Working
08:30 am on November 30, 2018

Pseudo-working looks like work, but it doesn’t produce much. If you’ve ever been trying to focus on writing an article while checking your phone for social media updates and fielding dinner requests, you’re pseudo-working. (No, I’m not doing that right now, why do you ask?)

Admitting the dangers of pseudo-working has helped me focus and get more writing done in less time. See if it will help you too!

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